Everyone Wants a Piece of Tiger
The World Number One created his usual Media frenzy when he appeared in The Ryder Cup Media Centre, where he expressed his wish to lead the American Team from the front come Friday morning
Michael Gibbons, Press Officer
20 September 2006
There are few people in the world who can fill a room like Tiger Woods.
While the 23 other Ryder Cup players, as well as Team Captains Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman, are given a huge amount of attention from the world’s Press throughout this most publicised of events, when the announcement: “We now have Tiger Woods in the Interview Room” comes over the public address system in the Ryder Cup Media Centre, the stampede created by journalists from every corner of the globe rushing to speak to the World’s Number One golfer is a sight to behold.
Probably the most recognisable sportsman in history, Woods attracts the kind of attention that has changed the face of the game he dominates, and makes marketing and advertising executives weak at the knees.
Every word he says is analysed and scrutinised beyond belief, so when it comes to fielding questions on The Ryder Cup, the 30 year old American’s opinion is the most sought after of all. Everyone wants a piece of Tiger.
For the record, Woods believes that himself, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson, respectively ranked the world’s first, second and third best players are, as the most experienced members of Tom Lehman’s Team, the new leaders within the American camp
He is desperate to shed the reputation he has for inadvertently intimidating his own partners in The Ryder Cup, and to take the Sam Ryder Trophy back across the Atlantic having being on the losing side for the last two editions of the event.
Woods said: “I think because Davis [Love III] is not on this, Freddie [Couples] is not a part of this team, and these guys are linked back to the early '90s, sometimes the '80s. They have seen a lot more and been a part of this a lot longer than I ever have. So I think the longest anyone has been on the team is Phil [Mickelson] from '95. So I think the three of us, Phil, myself and Jim [Furyk], we're the guys who have been on the most Cups and I think the three of us have taken more of a leadership role, because we are veterans of the team.
“When Freddie and Davis were there it was not my place. I qualified for the Team and those guys were the leaders and veterans of the Team, and they were tremendous leaders. I just sat back and listened and learned; that's what you do over here. If you're a young person on the team, that's what you do is listen and learn and hope that if you're in that position one day, you can take up more of a leadership role and do just as good of a job as they did, and hopefully the three of us can do that this week.
“It's disappointing that I haven't won points on the Cups that I've been on. Uunfortunately I've gone on the wrong end of it too many times. It's frustrating because you feel like you've not only let yourself down but you've let your team mate down that your playing with, your partner, as well as your team mates that are trying to win this Cup for our Captain and our country. It's very disappointing.
“Hopefully I can set the tone for my team and get and an early point this year. In years past I haven't done that. I mean, I tried and unfortunately I just haven't done that. Hopefully this year I can get points."
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- 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.